Dater X: Over The Line

Having subjected The Big Easy to two weeks’ worth of my nutty softball friends, I figured that no matter how much he enjoys them – and they, him – it was high time that we stepped out of my life and into his. So this weekend, I packed an overnight bag and made the bold journey across state lines to his place.

Have I neglected to mention that he lives in another state? There are plenty of transit options, but as neither of us has a car, it’s a bit of a trek. He’s moving closer next month, though still not exactly in my neighborhood; in the meantime, I’m getting to know the wilds of suburbia. I saw a bunny on his lawn, for crying out loud.

And state lines aren’t the only ones we’ve been crossing. I’ve wavered on whether to share the following anecdote with you, since if there was any chance that you didn’t think this was a weird relationship, that’s about to be shot to shit, but in the interest of journalistic integrity (and hearing your thoughts, because I’m sure these are going to be good): The Big Easy cut my hair.

No, I don’t mean by accident. No, I don’t mean a trim. I mean, my soon-to-be-boyfriend (more on titles in a minute) who, it turns out, used to cut hair for a living, gave me a bitchin’, super-short haircut in his living room as the first part of our 48-hour, weekend-long third date.

[pauses for reaction]

Here’s why I think this is awesome:

  1. Finding a guy who doesn’t mind my predilection for keeping my hair boyishly short is a task in and of itself; finding a guy who not only doesn’t mind it but likes it is tougher still; finding a guy who will cut my hair for me is nothing short of a freaking miracle.
  2. I have a massive soft spot for people with passion, and while The Big Easy currently has another job that he enjoys and that pays well, he’s passionate about cutting hair; it was exciting to see him in his element.
  3. Not to be a selfish diva, but my hair looks freaking sweet.

We also made breakfast together. While we were shopping for ingredients, we passed a display of bubbles; to my delight, he made no objection when I tossed a bottle into our basket, and after eggs and ham, we went outside to blow bubbles in the grass. He led us on a bike ride to a park, where we threw a softball around (act surprised) and then he tried to teach me how to throw a football (a fool’s errand, to be sure, but a fun one). We came home and made cocktails in the middle of the afternoon. We went out for a delicious dinner at a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant that he loves. We came home and watched a movie and had sex and went to bed.

Don’t worry; I’m not skipping over the “had sex” part. It was good. Affectionate. Awkward, in the way that having sex with someone for the first time is bound to be. He was soundly disappointed that I didn’t come, but I was less so; it’s a goddamned Rubik’s cube down there, and surely we’ll get better with practice.

And, yes: the next day, we slept in, lazed about in bed, had sex again, and then took the bus back across the state line for my softball game.

As another (formerly) anonymous blogger who I much admire once wrote, “When articulate bitching is your stock in trade, what’s there to say once you get what you want? Not much. You just sit still, biding your time, afraid to accept your good fortune but not so foolhardy as to question it aloud.” In other words, I’m not here to argue with you that this all sounds perhaps a bit boring. But you know what? It feels really, really good, in a relaxed, confident way that I haven’t felt for someone in an awfully long time.

So, is The Big Easy my boyfriend?  That’s a little trickier. As I feared, seven (SEVEN!) years without a serious boyfriend will give a girl a serious case of pre-emptive buyer’s remorse. I like The Big Easy. I don’t want to be with anyone else. While my aesthetic appreciation for guys like Esquire and Mr. Firework remains, my hopeful affection does not. So why when Big Easy asked if he could call me his girlfriend over dinner did I bristle like a porcupine beneath a hiker’s boot? Hard to say.  The best I could do was ask him for another week to try and process all this newness, and now the clock is ticking.

How did I respond to that pressure? By adding more, naturally! Next weekend, The Big Easy gets to meet Mama and Papa X at a family engagement party! And then I’m going with him to his female best friend’s birthday party!

To all of you who have said that he reminds you of your boyfriend/fiancé/husband: now is the time to dole out all of the advice that you care to give. Because if there’s another line to cross, it’s virtually guaranteed that we’re going to sprint right past it, the same way that we have with all the rest.